The Gender Gap in Reported Homosexuality

An article of mine in the International Journal Advances in Social Science and Humanities 2(10) 20-26.

Men consistently report higher rates of homosexual behavior and identity than women in national population surveys of sexuality, a gender gap that has received little attention. Though women express similar levels of same-sex desire, they are far less likely to claim a lesbian identity or to report recent homosexual sex. This paper establishes the gender gap in homosexuality as a robust social by compiling historical and anthropological evidence and population surveys. It then evaluates two competing sociological explanations for differences in homosexuality
between men and women: economic inequalities and differences in human capital. I tested these explanations with variables from the National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS) on the dependent variable of reported same-sex sexual contact in the past five years. The economic hypothesis is not supported, as none of the economic variables are significant. Some of the human capital variables are significant: controlling for age and marital status, education and urban residence together explain 28% of the difference in reported homosexuality between the sexes. This paper considers the implications of human capital and the value of the gender gap for future research on the intersections among sexuality, sex and gender.


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